Cowboy Bebop ★★★★★



As noted above, I finished the series for the first time during the first hour of 2019. To this day, Cowboy Bebop remains as not only my favorite anime series, or my favorite anime work overall, but my favorite show of all time. But I'm not using this review to talk about how that is.

I'm using this review to bring to light some concerns and hopes I have with Letterboxd's sudden addition of several anime series, or miniseries as we can call them, since they are in the same league as titles such as Twin Peaks: The Return and Band of Brothers, all of which do deserve to be on this site for basically serving as one long story. I'm not one to call out Letterboxd via a review for not meeting the criteria of a proper miniseries to be on the site, but I have flagged some titled before for either not meeting said criteria or having incorrect information (all of which is synced with that of TheMovieDatabase, Letterboxd's partner site).

The point that I want to make is not that anime titles, or miniseries in general, shouldn't be on the site. Far from it - I think it's an open-minded approach to not cast out long-yet-powerful stories that are in a mandatory state of being told within a handful of episodes. In short, it's good for the site. The REAL point I'm trying to make is that we have to be careful when adding such titles, mainly with that of anime. And I mean that for a few reasons:

1. Anime series like Naruto and My Hero Academia do not deserve to be included on Letterboxd, since they are serialized stories told over not just episodes, but seasons, too. We need to be careful not to confuse the longevity of such shows.

2. If we are going to continue updating the site by adding such limited anime series, we need to present the details accurately. Several editors for these pages are blinded by TMDB's rational rule in that dub actors CANNOT be included with the cast section, since the original cast should be credited with that of its country of origin. Additionally, we shouldn't screw around when providing crew lists and studio links, either. Let the crew members be credited, but only give the chief director the top credit of "Directed by..." since different directors below the position of chief director carried out that job for certain episodes. They can still be included in TMDB's list, but shouldn't be confused with the chief director (in the case of titles like Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. DO YOUR RESEARCH!)

3. Leave it to the professionals. If there is an issue regarding incorrect information or whether or not a limited series belongs on the site, then the moderators (or staff) NEED to respond and not leave such matters in the dark. They have a job to do, and they need to do it.

Over the years I've been on Letterboxd, I've seen several examples of pages created - most without linked pages from TMDB - with amateurish results, to which I can only assume came from the hands of a staff member who wanted something they liked featured on Letterboxd. If this is the case, then this needs to stop. Look at the pages for all RWBY volumes, for example. Do those pages look polished or organized? Are all the important cast members and staff even listed? Is the runtime even accurately listed as well?

Letterboxd needs to continue setting an example for not just those passionate for film, but those passionate for pop culture, period. We can't keep shoving such past weak examples into viewers faces as if they won't notice. We need to continue treating such visual stories with respect and accuracy, and it starts with the act of acknowledging such a motive. To the Letterboxd crew, if you even have the decency of catching this review, I wish you Godspeed. And to the users and fellow fans of anime, enjoy the inclusion of series like Cowboy Bebop on Letterboxd - as long as they all aren't removed as if Thanos just snapped.


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